A project that mentors high school students in McDowell County is seeing success.
Eighteen students from Mount View High in Welch and River View High in Bradshaw were chosen a year ago to participate.
Nearly all of them took their first plane trip last summer to Washington, D.C., where they visited college campuses, job sites and met members of Congress. Each student was assigned a mentor to regularly discuss school, life issues and choices.
Seventeen seniors in the program will graduate with their classmates. The other participant is a junior.
Some have had rough lives in broken homes. Most will be the first in their families to go to college.
They're the first wave in the three-year Broader Horizons mentoring program funded by a $300,000 grant from AT&T, one of more than 120 partners in Reconnecting McDowell.
That project led by the American Federation of Teachers aims to improve opportunities in the county.